Dear St. Bridget Parishioner,
Each year at Christmas the Liturgy Committee considers how we can best welcome our guests – especially those who may only join us for liturgy once or twice a year. We want them to feel the Real Presence of Christ during the Mass and to experience such radical hospitality that they will want to rediscover Catholicism.
This year, with Msgr. Carr’s approval, we have chosen to make a gift of the book Beautiful Mercy to every adult, whether parishioner or guest, attending Christmas Mass. Beautiful Mercy, published by Dynamic Catholic with an introduction by Pope Francis, is a collection of reflections by Catholic clergy and lay writers about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Each chapter stands alone by addressing one work of mercy so the book is easy to read, yet inspiring. The reflections provide food for thought and ideas for action no matter where the reader is on his or her faith journey.
Tucked inside each book will be a bookmark invitation to come back to St. Bridget the evening of Tuesday, January 31, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Beautiful Mercy and enjoy fellowship with wine and cheese. Those who attend will be invited to choose a small group discussion centered on one reflection, i.e. one corporal or spiritual work of mercy. Our goal is to ignite a spark of engagement in our regular parishioners and to provide an on ramp to our parish for Catholics who have lapsed in their practice of the faith.
Monsignor Carr has asked us to reach out to the leadership of all groups in the parish both to inform you of what will be happening and to ask your help welcoming guests and distributing the books at the Christmas liturgies. He has suggested that we distribute the book after the second collection at each Mass. The celebrant will explain the gift, and then teams coming from both the front and back of the church will distribute the book to any adult with a hand raised. Liturgical ministers serving as lectors or Eucharistic ministers could help with distribution. Ushers are specifically asked not to volunteer as they will be busy with other duties such as collections and distributing bulletins.
The books are on order. We are so excited about this opportunity! Here is how you can support us. Volunteer to help yourself by clicking on this link. Then let your committee or group know about this opportunity and ask that they participate. With your help and commitment, we hope to have the schedule complete by 12/12/16.
We will also need facilitators for the small group discussions on January 31. Advance copies of Beautiful Mercy will be available for you to pick up Wednesday, 12/12, in the Parish Center Meeting Room. As you read, please consider which reflection fires your imagination and inspires you to lead a discussion. Short one to two minute videos about each chapter are available here. We will be back in touch after Christmas to identify group leaders.
By engaging parishioners and guests in a discussion of what it means to be merciful, we hope to continue the good work that began in our Church during the Jubilee Year and help St. Bridget to be, as Pope Francis asks, “a living sign of the love and mercy of the Father in the world.”
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
St. Bridget Liturgy Committee